In my line of work, you get a lot of people who are very anxious about their marketing; when are their ads serving, how frequently, for what terms, etc. I’ve had clients that have told me that they check out their ads throughout the day to make sure that they are where they ‘need to be’ (whether that’s actually the case or not). Well ever since I saw Google post on the Adwords Blog that improper monitoring of ads can cause significant damage to account performance, I’ve been harping to all my clients that their curious impressions may be doing far more harm than good!
First off, as many of us know already, Google adjusts quality score based upon the search account’s click-through rate (CTR). So the more times you view an ad without actually clicking on it, your CTR suffers. When this happens over the course of weeks, where a high-maintenance client feels the need to search for their ads hundreds of times, you can see how this can have a serious impact on CTR.
What I didn’t know until now was that Google will also adjust ad position based upon whether you click on an ad or not. So if you search for yourself at the top of the rankings time after time, and don’t click on your ad, eventually Google will knock you out of the top spot based on your personal preferences. Imagine how this only multiplies the anxiety a misinformed client already has about where their ads serve. Even if their ads are #1 across America, they might get to the point where they hardly see their ads serve on the first page at all.
Yesterday was the day to start informing all of your clients about the proper way for them to test out where their ads are serving: by using the Ad Preview page at http://google.com/adpreview. You can do all the same searches you normally would, but these impressions will not count against your statistics. Believe me, doing this has already started saving money for my clients and resulted in more cost-effective advertising.
From my experiences it appears that Google has a short-term memory when it comes to CTR, so you can start seeing the benefit of this pretty much as soon as you start using it. Although I’m still not certain how the personalized search functionality plays into this. You might have to clear out your browser cache if the ads still don’t serve in high positions on your machine. Please ad to this with anything you’ve noticed in regards to this.